Hip Tear

What is a hip labral tear?

A hip labral tear, also known as an acetabular labral tear, is a tear in the seal (labrum) that normally cushions the hip joint and provides joint stability and support. The labrum lines the rim of the hip socket (acetabulum). It acts as a cushion to offer extra support to the hip, reduce friction in the joint and distribute force evenly across the articular surface (cartilage).

A hip labral tear affects up to 20 percent of athletes who report groin pain. It’s more common among athletes whose sports and activities involve rotating and twisting leg motions, such as golf, soccer, ice hockey, ballet and football.

Meet Sarah, who sustained a labral tear.

Care for hip labral tears

Our hip team treats patients of all ages. Many teens and young adults with hip problems may need diagnostic and surgical techniques that differ from what is indicated for older adults. Our surgeons are recognized across the globe as pioneers in hip arthroscopy, and our clinicians and researchers are dedicated to finding better ways to care for hip problems.

Boston Children’s Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program delivers a special degree of effectiveness — not just because of our long tradition of excellence in pediatric hip care, but also because we follow our patients through adulthood. This gives us a unique expertise: we can track how the hip works in each age group, how the problems evolve, and how the hip’s function changes over time in adult patients who’ve had treatment in childhood.

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